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A London bus running on a new state of the art green fuel was ...
A London bus running on a new state of the art green fuel was

launched today by green fuels minister David Jamieson.

The bus runs on fuel produced through a process which involves

turning natural gas into a very clean form of diesel. The fuel,

known as 'gas to liquid', has significantly lower emissions of

harmful air pollutants than conventional diesel and can be used in

any vehicle.

The fuel, produced by Shell, will be trialled over the next few

months on the 507 'bendy bus' which runs from Waterloo to Victoria.

Mr Jamieson said:

'I very much welcome this trial, and look forward to seeing the

detailed results in a few months' time. London still has some serious

air pollution problems, and we need to be as innovative as possible

in looking for solutions which are good for passengers, roads users

and the environment. Newer buses are already a lot cleaner than they

were a few years ago and by using ultra clean fuels we should be able

to reduce harmful emissions still further'.


'Gas to liquid' diesel fuel is a unique synthetic fuel derived from

natural gas. It is crystal clear in colour, and virtually free of

sulphur and aromatics. It can be used in any diesel vehicle, either

neat or as a blend with regular diesel. It offers the prospect of

significantly lower emissions from conventional vehicles, without the

complications of alternative engines and refuelling infrastructures.

The fuel is currently produced in Shell's plant in Bintulu, Malaysia.

Shell currently produce 12,500 barrels of the fuel per day, but hope

to make a decision soon on the next generation of plants which may be

able to increase capacity significantly. This means that the fuel

could be available in larger quantities from 2008. It is unlikely to

be available to UK motorists before then.

Shell and Transport for London will be trialling the fuel over the

next few months on a 507 bus in London (the 507 route ru ns from

Waterloo to Victoria). They will be monitoring its emissions and

performance very closely to check that it delivers the sort of

benefits which have already been seen in trials elsewhere in the


In the longer term, the 'gas to liquid' process could also be applied

to the production of liquid fuels from biomass (woody and other

organic materials, including possibly municipal waste). This offers

the prospect of carbon savings as well as air quality benefits.

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